Tannins and the Difference Between White Wine and Red Wine?

What is the difference?

Basically the grape skins.
White wines generally don't have the skins added into the ferment. All red grapes have white flesh and produce white juice, the skins are added to give three things. 

  1. Depth of character with flavours that come from the skins. 
  2. Colour depending upon how long the skins are in contact with the juice and depending upon the grape varietals. Pinot Noir is light in colour pigment, Shiraz, depends upon the climate and Cabernet is ruby red. 
  3. Tannins are the third item, the drying agent that makes your cheeks suck in when you drink red wine.

Tannins break down proteins in red meat, and they dry out your palate. Different grapes and different terroirs offer different tannins and this can be measured on the pallet. Soft tannins are normally found in Pinot Noirs, spicy sweet tannins in Shiraz and dry tannins in Cabernets.

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